The Michigan Wolverines were the #1 team in the MCLA, and on a 49 game winning streak. The #22 Colorado Buffaloes, on a four game losing streak, were the obvious underdogs.
The Wolverines streak of 49 consecutive wins spanned three seasons and two national championships, while Colorado had so many problems they changed their coach mid season.
Colorado was also 2-5, with six remaining games vs top ten teams. They were done, season over. “Nobody thought we were going to beat Michigan,” said Mike Ryder, Colorado’s new head coach. “Even some of our fans didn’t think we’d win this game.”
The Buffaloes started this one off on the right note, with AJ Blackburn scoring only 1:12 into the game. Little did they know at the time, that was the game winning goal, as Colorado never looked back.
Michigan was dysfunctional all period, with their dynamic duo of Kevin Zorovich and Trevor Yealy not being able to penetrate the Colorado defense.
Colorado scored three more goals in the period, another by Blackburn, and then Colin Rosenblum and Darren Hulik. Michigan was able to score one in the period, a tally from Clark McIntyre.
The second period was more of the same for both teams, except for Zorovich and Yealy scoring one a piece to make it 4-3 and get back into the game a little bit.
However, Roseblum scored two more goals for the hat trick and Kyle Drive beat the buzzer in Colorado's final possession of the half.
If Michigan was able to make any halftime adjustments, they did not show it. The third quarter continued like the previous, with five goals by the Buffaloes to the Wolverines two.
The fourth quarter began with I am sure the Buffaloes feeling like they were about to accomplish the unthinkable. And the Wolverines either felt a sense of panic or determination to get that 50th win in a row, and remain atop the MCLA standings.
Michigan showed up and played their game, playing physical and being aggressive on loose balls. Colorado salvaged an early goal in the period, but did not get more than that. The Wolverines finished the period out shooting the Buffaloes 16-6.
The defense was getting tired in the end, and head coach Mike Ryder had to call a timeout late, where he told his team to "just finish".
Michigan kept the pressure going all period, with time of possession dominating in the Wolverines favor. Goaltender Brad MacNee absolutely stood on his head all period.
“We knew we had the game up”, MacNee stated, “we also knew that it could go away in a second. We kept it tight, they got a few quick ones in, but we stayed calm and came out on top and held it until the last second.”
By the waning seconds of the period Michigan had all the momentum, but Colorado was able to hold on by the skin of their teeth and come out with a victory, and a stunning upset.
“The MCLA is a great league”, Ryder further commented. “A lot of tough competition and Michigan has played in a lot of close games. No one thought we were going to win this one coming in, they thought we were going to be number 50. But it’s one thing I told these guys, we got to end this streak today on our field. We just couldn’t afford to lose anymore on this turf. And this is going to be a turning point for the rest of this program’s season. “
Meanwhile, there is always the other side to an upset. And Michigan coach John Paul talked to the media after the game, saying “It was a matter of time. We were flat all day and in warm-ups. We’re telling the guys right up to the start that they were about to get punched in the mouth.”